Professor Gary Cohen, Director of the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota for many years, was honored with the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art First Class for his indefatigable efforts in strengthening academic cooperation between Austria and the U.S.
Under the leadership of Professor Cohen the Center for Austrian Studies, with its publication, “Austrian History Yearbook,” became a primary center of research on Austria and Central Europe in the United States. Prof. Cohen’s research focuses on the history of Austria and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. As the author of numerous publications and books (“The Politics of Ethnic Survival: Germans in Prague, 1861-1914,” among others), he has made a significant contribution to research on Austria in the U.S. At a reception held at the Embassy in Washington, D.C. on November 12, 2009, Austria’s Ambassador to the U.S. Christian Prosl presented the decoration to Professor Cohen along with three outstanding Austrian scientists who were awarded the Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America awards by the Ministry of Science.
Austrian Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda (1978), a worldwide cosmetic company known for its natural plant-based products, was awarded with the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria, which was presented by Austrian Consul General Robert Zischg at a reception in Chicago on October 26, 2009.
As one of the most well-known Austrians living abroad in the U.S., Horst Rechelbacher founded the AVEDA Cosmetic Co., currently one of the leading international cosmetic firms worldwide. After the sale of Aveda to Estee Lauder in 1997, he created Intelligent Nutrients, a company producing organic beauty and cosmetic products. Voted by the Austrian press as one of the most notable Austrians currently living in the United States, Horst Rechelbacher has won many awards. During his career he has made a significant contribution to the ‘wellness’ industry which has been driven by his concern for the global environment. At numerous public appearances his pride in having Austrian roots rarely fails to mention Austria’s reputation as an innovative country and attractive business location which strongly respects natural resources. He was the primary financier and collaborator for organizing the conference, “Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and Bioressources,” held at the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota (Sept. 24-26, 2008) and supports the work of the Center for Austrian Studies in Minnesota. Currently Mr. Rechelbacher is planning to organize an exhibition in the U.S. of works by Austrian artist, Ernst Fuchs.
Dieter Beintrexler, President of Raiffeisenzentral Bank (RZB) Finance LLC, a subsidiary of RZB-Austria located in New York City, was awarded with the Austrian-American Council Medal of Honor by the Austrian-American Council of North America for his countless years of generous volunteer work and for the constant support of Austrian-American humanitarian causes.
Mr. Beintrexler has had a commendable career in the fields of economics and finance which began in Vienna and continued over a period of four decades in the United States. In 1965 he moved to the United States to join E.I. DuPont De Nemours in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1979, Mr. Beintrexler joined The First National Bank of Maryland and assumed the position of Assistant Vice President Latin America for First City National Bank of Houston in 1981 and later became Vice President and Group Manager Middle East and Western Europe . In 1987, Mr. Beintrexler was appointed as Vice President of U.S. Financial Institutions & Syndication for Österreichische Länderbank, New York. In 1990, Mr. Beintrexler became the Vice President of U.S.A. and Canada for Raffeisen Zentralbank Austria in the New York Representative Office. In 1997, he established RZB Finance LLC and became President of the New York Finance Company, which is engaged in Commodity and Latin American Trade Finance, EXIM Bank lending, Corporate and Structured Finance, Asset Based lending and Energy lending. Since then the company has opened offices in Houston, Chicago, Connecticut, Los Angeles and Miami serving over 300 clients with almost four billion dollars in committed and uncommitted lines of credit. He serves as a member of the board of the U.S. Austrian Chamber of Commerce and The Global Institute of Finance. In addition, Mr. Beintrexler is adviser to the board of the European Union Studies Center of the City University New York. Mr. Beintrexler was elected chairman of the U.S. Austrian Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and has served as chairman for the Viennese Opera Ball in New York for eight years.